Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Black Widow and Cruella to get premium Disney Plus launch, Pixar's Luca to skip theaters entirely

Black Widow (Marvel Studios) / Cruella (Disney, Laurie Sparham)
Black Widow (Marvel Studios) / Cruella (Disney, Laurie Sparham)
Image: The A.V. Club

Raise your hand if you knew this was coming: Disney has finally caved to obvious pressures and announced that both Marvel’s Black Widow and the gritty 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella will be launching on Disney+’s pricey “Premier Access” tier on the same day they open in theaters, which is the same thing Disney did with Mulan and Raya And The Last Dragon. This comes a few weeks after Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggested that the old way of releasing movies—where you put it in a theater for a while and then many months later it comes to DVD and on-demand platforms—will never fully come back post-pandemic, if only because consumers have now realized that studios can release brand new movies on streaming services.

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At the time, Disney hadn’t said whether or not Black Widow would be moving to Disney+, but it would’ve been weird to highlight the benefits that people see in these day-and-date streaming releases and then not do one for a huge movie like Black Widow. Unfortunately, with Black Widow’s half-step to Disney+, it is also getting another delay: Instead of May 7, it will now open in theaters and on Disney+ on July 9. Cruella is keeping its original date, and it will be available at both places on May 28. Both movies will require a Disney+ subscription and the one-time $30 Premier Access rental fee.

Meanwhile, those moves aren’t the only ones Disney did today: Pixar’s Luca will now be losing its theatrical release entirely, landing on Disney+ (for no extra money) on June 18. Marvel movie Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings has also been bumped back, moving from July to September 3, with Variety saying it’s “expected to have a traditional theatrical release.” (We will believe it when we see it, but sure.) Variety also notes that the movies Disney inherited when it swallowed up 20th Century Fox—like Free Guy on August 13 and King’s Man on December 22—will most likely have regular theatrical releases.